STS-119 Cosmic Corridor
The STS-119 mission patch
STS-119 Mission Patch

The STS-119 space shuttle mission patch is shaped like an International Space Station solar array as seen from an angle. In the center is the space station as it will look at the end of the mission. The array highlighted in gold is the new solar array that this crew will install. Crew members' names border the patch.

The STS-119 crew members
STS-119 Crew

The seven astronauts of the STS-119 space shuttle mission are, from the left, Japanese Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata (wah-kah-tah); John Phillips and Steve Swanson, both mission specialists; Commander Lee Archambault; Pilot Tony Antonelli; and Joseph Acaba and Richard Arnold, both mission specialists and educators. Wakata will remain on the International Space Station.

Two men in blue flight suits stand in front of an airplane
Commander and Pilot

Commander Lee Archambault leads the STS-119 mission. Astronaut Tony Antonelli will serve as the pilot. The mission to the station is named 15A. It will carry a new truss segment. The truss is the backbone of the space station.

Mission specialists John Phillips, Steve Swanson and Koichi Wakata
Mission Specialists

John Phillips will be the lead robotic arm operator for the space station. He will use the arm to pick up the truss segment out of the shuttle and hand it to the shuttle robotic arm. Steve Swanson will be the lead spacewalker on three of the four planned spacewalks. Koichi Wakata's trip to the station will make him the first Japanese astronaut to live there for a long duration.

Solar array canister is lowered for installation on the S6 truss
Solar Ray Installation

Before the STS-119 launch, workers at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida installed the last solar array wing onto the S6 truss segment. "S" stands for starboard, the right side of the station. The "6" is for the truss segment's place at the very end of the starboard truss. The entire truss is 335 feet (102 meters) long.

A space station solar array
Solar Array

STS-119 astronauts will install two solar arrays on the station. The 32,800 solar cells on the solar panels will convert sunlight to DC, or direct current, power. Altogether, the station's arrays can generate as much as 120 kilowatts of electricity. That's enough power for about 42 2800-square-foot houses.

The Lab-on-a-Chip device

Lab-on-a-Chip is an experiment. It is a handheld device that will detect biological (living) material on the station. The S6 truss was analyzed on Earth. The STS-119 crew will test the spacesuit glove before and after spacewalkers install the truss. The experiment will look for any contamination from when the truss was stored until it is installed on the station.

Mission Specialist and educator Richard Arnold in a white spacesuit
Richard Arnold

Richard Arnold is a mission specialist. He will perform three spacewalks during the STS-119 mission. One of Arnold's earlier assignments as an astronaut was to spend 10 days in an underwater habitat for the NEEMO 13 experiment. Before he was an astronaut, Arnold was a teacher for 15 years. He has taught grades six through 12. Arnold taught in Maryland, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

Joseph Acaba, mission specialist and educator
Joseph Acaba

Mission Specialist Joseph Acaba (ah-CAH-bah) was a teacher in Florida before becoming an astronaut. He taught high school for one year and middle school math and science four years. He will perform two spacewalks on this mission.

The space station with the new set of solar arrays highlighted
International Space Station Configuration

The STS-119 mission must use spacewalks and the space station's robotic arm to install the S6 truss and the last set of solar arrays. With this set of arrays installed, the station will have enough power for a six-person crew and for running all the experiments.

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